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Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen redeems himself with six-out save in Game 6

By in Press Enterprise on November 1, 2017

By J.P. Hoornstra

LOS ANGELES — The bullpen gate swung open to begin the eighth inning, and Dr. Dre welcomed a crowd of 54,128 to the Wild, West West. Kenley Jansen’s familiar entrance music was playing an inning earlier than normal. The Dodgers’ closer was trying for a six-out save in Game 6 of the World Series.

In a series in which nothing’s come easy for the Dodgers, Jansen turned the ending of the Dodgers’ season-saving, 3-1 win over the Houston Astros into a piece of cake.

Jansen faced six batters. He needed a total of 19 pitches to retire them all. Only one pitch missed the strike zone.

“I’m not trying to be a hero or anything, but there’s no tomorrow,” Jansen said. “You’ve got to go out there and fight.”

Before Tuesday, Jansen had not successfully converted a six-out save in the playoffs since Game 2 of the 2016 National League Championship Series – not that he hadn’t tried. So far, the World Series simply hadn’t gone as planned.

In the ninth inning of Game 2, Jansen allowed a tying home run to George Springer. It was the first blown save of Jansen’s postseason career, and it allowed the Astros to steal a come-from-behind, 7-6 victory in 11 innings.

In Sunday’s Game 5, Jansen was tasked with preserving a 12-12 tie on the road. He fell one out short, becoming the losing pitcher when Alex Bregman walked him off the mound with a 10th-inning single.

Game 6 was different.

“He looked like he always has,” Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw said. “We’ve asked a lot out of our ‘pen this whole postseason. B-Mo (Brandon Morrow) looked back to what he does. Kenley was amazing.”

Jansen saved his best for last. With two outs in the ninth inning, he dialed up his cut fastball to 96 mph […]    

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